Be the Salt and Light of the World

“You are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Matthew 5:13-16)”

A title is a word added to someone’s name, signifying the person’s official position and sometimes socio/economic status in a society, also known as Socioeconomic Status. Although some titles are hereditary, meaning inherited from parents, most titles we have seen nowadays are given by society where the people belong to. Furthermore, sometimes those titles reveal one’s achievement in his/her life.

1

For instance, J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence) and M.D. (Doctor of Medicine) are professional doctorate degrees or titles that are extremely competitive to achieve. The primary purpose of giving such titles to a person was to celebrate one’s achievement in his/her life. Today, however, many people live their lives to achieve that titles; this change in Value caused many problems in the modern society as well as in Christian community.

Christian is a title given to those who believe in Jesus Christ. However, sometimes we notice ourselves that forget about the primary purpose of being a Christian. In the Bible, Christians are depicted as those who are “the salt and the light of the world” (Matthew 5:13-16). The commonality between the salt and light is that they are essential for the world to exist.

Why does the Bible describe Christians as being the salt and the light? If we think about it, both the salt and light are important to humans and, thus, Christians must influence others as the “salt and light.” Although the universal importance of salt is not as readily apparent in our modern society, the mandate that Jesus gave to his first 12 disciples is still relevant and applicable to Christians today.

Our lives are to be an on-going witness to the reality of Christ’s presence in our lives. When we worship God with pure hearts as salt and when we love others as ourselves, we are the light shining—however we should realize that the light shining is not from us, but from Jesus Christ Himself that people will see in us, Christians.

 – T.S

Life’s Decisions

Life is all about decisions. We make countless and constant decisions and we live the consequences of our choices. This is so because God gave us the free will and left it for us to decide what to do with our lives. So we make decisions all the time, small and big ones, which eventually shape and mold the way we are.

Hence we are anxious and cautious when it comes to decision makings. ‘What if I choose the wrong way?’ ‘Am I going to regret this?’ ‘I wish I can foresee the future!’ Robert Frost’s “The Road Not Taken” reflects our troubledness when we face a crossroad and  cannot see what’s ahead of both roads.

Few years ago, I had an experience that made me regret a decision I’ve made in the past and I was very disappointed and frustrated with myself. I called my friend and shared my thoughts. She consoled me but told me not to think like so. She said, “In everything, there is God’s will. You might think you haven’t done your best and so things didn’t turn out the way you’ve expected. But the will of God works bigger than your own will. God presides over everything we do and we need to find what the God’s way is in our lives.”

TAC emphasizes living a “Theo-centric” life. This means we place God in the center of our lives and do everything in His way rather than our own ways. Instead of following our own thoughts and judgments, we are to find God’s way and pursue what He wants us to do to glorify His name.

Only yesterday, I was on a highway returning home from a summer camp with young children. We were behind schedule about thirty minutes and we were rushing to get down in time. It was then we came across a huge car accident. The accident was bad and there were flipped cars with broken windows and blood everywhere. I had goosebumps all over me because the accident seemed like it happened just a while ago and the police were arriving and surveying the site. What if we were on schedule thirty minutes ago and was passing the place with those cars? I was again reminded of God’s providence in life.

How are we to search and find God’s way in our lives? Gideon the warrior in Bible (Judges 6) shows us a way to find God’s will. He prayed to God and asked Him repeatedly for His signs. He asked God to dampen a fleece but leave the ground around it dry and God answered him. He then asked God to dampen the ground but leave the fleece dry and God answered him again. This shows Gideon was very cautious and he relied completely on God before making a decision.

God has planned the entire universe and He has His plans for each one of His creations. If we disregard our own wills and ask for His will, then God will show us His plans for our lives. When we abide by His will, we can actually see the end of the road through faith. Therefore, let us not fear the unknown consequence of our decisions anymore. Instead, let us pray and find God’s will in every decision we are to make.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” -Proverbs 3:5-6

-K.P

What the Passover Teaches Us

Observe the month of Abib, and keep the Passover unto the Lord thy God: for in the month of Abib the Lord thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.

                                                                                             -Deuteronomy 16:1-

The Passover is well-known (to the gentiles) as a Jewish festival commemorating God’s freeing of Israelites from Egyptian enslavement. It seems odd to write a blog post about a Jewish holiday, but Reverend Goshen Choi has given us a wonderful message on what it means to overcome hardships and become successful with the help of our Lord with this seemingly obscure passage in Deuteronomy.

According to Rev. Choi, there are four things we must do to overcome hardships with success in the eyes of God:

1. Always live by the Word of God

As Christians, we must always live by the Word of God and by nothing else. His words are the truth that we must strive to live by.

2. God works at Night

Traditionally, people work during the day and rest during the night. But in the scripture above, it says that God has brought His People out of Egypt by night. As such, there are several other indications in the Holy Bible to suggest that God likes to work during that particular time. Though the word “night” should be understood as it is in the context of the Holy Scripture, it can also be interpreted in different ways, and one of the ways that Rev. Choi has analyzed the scripture was that God prefers to work during the most darkest times of our lives, that time of our life when we just cannot trust our abilities and give up to go on, as we do when we face the night in our work. That is the precise time in which our Lord begins to work his miracles on His People. Therefore, Rev. Choi urges the people to surrender themselves to the Lord early in their lives and careers, to admit that they are facing the night of their lives and need the Lord to start his work.

Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt in haste: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.

                                                                                        -Deuteronomy 16:3-

 

3. The Bread of Affliction is our time to be trained

In Deuteronomy 16: 3, God tells His people to eat the “no leavened bread” during the time of Passover. He further calls this bread “the bread of affliction.” While this idea of “no leavened bread” should be understood as it is, Rev. Choi has interpreted the concept of “no leavened bread” as the “bread of affliction” that contains none of one’s thoughts and egos when it is baked. Unleavened bread does not contain any yeasts, and God calls this bread the “bread of affliction” to have the Israelites remember that it was the Lord who has led them out of Egypt.

Rev. Choi tells us that no one is free from this bread of affliction. We all encounter a time of trial and tribulation at some point in our lives. When that time happens, God wants us to eat this unleavened bread of affliction; he wants us to chew it well and digest it properly. We need to have the same attitude about our own problems; we should accept this suffering with happiness and transform it into a time of training for our better selves in the eyes of the Lord. Rev. Choi has told us to not despair and be afraid that we are toiling with no end at sight. He told us to cherish this time by learning and training from its hardship, as God has commanded the Israelites to eat the bread of affliction to never forget that it was the Lord who has freed them from the shackles of Egypt. Let us strive each day to accept this bread of affliction with open arms and embrace its hardships to learn from it!

4. Always remember who you were before meeting God

Rev. Choi has told us that we must first remember the kind of person we were before accepting Jesus in our lives, and thank the Lord for leading us to His ways. Humans are prone to forget, and this forgetfulness is what drives our ego and causes us to be arrogant. If we can just remember who we used to be before receiving the Lord’s Grace, we are much less likely to commit the sin of denouncing the Lord’s miracles and announcing our greatness. As God wanted Israelite to eat the unleavened bread to never forget that it was His work that lead them out of Egypt, He also wants us to never forget the grace we’ve received from Him.

Of course, all these are much easier said than done. Let us all pray and strive to become true Achievers with these four qualities!

A.K. 

 

* Reverend Goshen Choi is the founder and the president of Nyskc World Mission Center. Nyskc World Mission Center was founded in 1993 with the purpose of establishing a global organization devoted to the restoration of worship and churches. Their motto is “When the Worship is restored, the church is risen, the nation renewed and the family revived!”